Syria’s air force struck rebel-held areas near Damascus and Aleppo Saturday, a monitoring group said, as regime and opposition representatives met briefly in the same room in Geneva for peace talks.
Government warplanes fired rockets at Talfita north of the capital, and helicopters struck Daraya to its southwest using deadly TNT-laden barrels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Air strikes also hit the Hanano, Qadi Askar, Salihin and Maysar areas of Aleppo city, swathes of which have been under rebel control since an assault on the city in July 2012.
Since December 15, Aleppo city has been the target of an aerial offensive that has killed hundreds, mostly civilians, the Observatory says.
The strikes come a day after barrel bomb attacks on Aleppo’s outlying industrial city and the Sheikh Najjar districts killed 10 people, the group added.
Rights groups have condemned the use of fighter jets and barrel bombings to target opposition areas as “indiscriminate.”
Fighting pitting opposition forces against troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad meanwhile raged on across Syria’s multiple fronts.
Clashes erupted on the outskirts of the besieged Yarmuk Palestinian camp in southern Damascus, much of which is under rebel control.
In Raqa city, a stronghold of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a man was “arrested for walking with his wife, who was not wearing the niqab,” or full face veil, the Observatory said.
ISIL issued four statements earlier this week ordering women to wear the niqab in public, forbidding the sale of cigarettes and narguileh (water pipe) products, banning music and a fourth making attendance of Friday prayers compulsory.
Once welcomed by Syrian rebels seeking to topple Assad, ISIL’s abuses have turned much of the opposition against them.
In recent weeks, ISIL has consolidated its hold on Raqa city, the only provincial capital to fall out of regime control since the outbreak of Syria’s conflict in March 2011.
As violence continued in Syria, the country’s warring sides met briefly on Saturday in the same room in Geneva for the first time since the beginning of the peace talks.
Following the brief meeting, the sides were believed to have moved to separate offices, with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi shuttling between them.
More than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria in nearly three years, and millions more forced to flee their homes.